Axl Rose on Rock and Roll Hall of Fame drama: 'I hope you'll forgive me'

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Image Credit: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

It’s telling that the biggest stories coming out of last weekend’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony were about the people who weren’t there. Rod Stewart (being inducted for the second time, this go-round as a member of Faces) called in sick, as did Beastie Boy Adam “MCA” Yauch.

Meanwhile, Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose seemed to be in fine health, but declined to show up with his old band for various reasons.In the aftermath of Rose’s open letter to fans, there were a handful who called him out as a whiner who put himself about the greater legacy of his group.

There were also plenty who felt he was doing the right thing, and in a follow-up statement posted to Twitter, Rose thanked those who supported him and even issued something of an apology to the city of Cleveland for raining on their rock parade.

“With such a generous outpouring of solidarity from fans, media outlets, writers and other artists, I’m truly humbled, blown away and unbelievably relieved,” Rose wrote. “To be honest, I thought it would go the other way and was just hoping to weather the storm. As I said, I sincerely didn’t want to disappoint anyone.”

In the letter’s most interesting passage, Rose brings up a lot of questions about the Hall that forced him to keep them at arm’s length. “I still don’t exactly know or understand what the Hall is or how or why it makes money, where the money goes, who chooses the voters and why anyone or this board decides who, out of all the artists in the world that have contributed to this genre, officially ‘rock’ enough to be in the Hall?” he wrote. “This isn’t an attack. These are genuine issues I don’t have enough verified information on to have more than rough ideas. Certainly not enough information to make any judgments about.”

Check out the full text of Rose’s letter below. To: Cleveland, Ohio, Guns N’ Roses Fans and everyone who’s shown support for my decision regarding the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.

I seriously didn’t plan on or expect the overwhelmingly positive response and public support for my decision regarding the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. With such a generous outpouring of solidarity from fans, media outlets, writers and other artists, I’m truly humbled, blown away and unbelievably relieved! To be honest, I thought it would go the other way and was just hoping to weather the storm. As I said, I sincerely didn’t want to disappoint anyone. It gets old being the outlaw even if “it’s only rock and roll”.

It took a lot of focus and soul searching to be sincere and informative while making a genuine effort to be somewhat diplomatic. We made, what I feel, are real efforts to learn about the Hall and the Board, spoke as I said with the president and various members, and though I inducted Elton John and Bernie Taupin in ’94 saying something to the effect of “I’m learning what the Hall’s about…”

I still don’t exactly know or understand what the Hall is or how or why it makes money, where the money goes, who chooses the voters and why anyone or this board decides who, out of all the artists in the world that have contributed to this genre, officially “rock” enough to be in the Hall?

This isn’t an attack. These are genuine issues I don’t have enough verified information on to have more than rough ideas. Certainly not enough information to make any judgments about.

I would like to apologize to Cleveland, Ohio for not apologizing to them beforehand for not attending [the ceremony] in their city. I think they know how much I genuinely love performing there. Cleveland does in fact Rock!!

Now that the smoke’s cleared a little, any desperate, misguided attacks have been just that, a pathetic stab at gossip, some lame vindictiveness, the usual entitlement crap, he’s obsessed, crazy, volatile, a hater. I once bought a homeless woman a slice of pizza who yelled at me she wanted soup. We got her the soup. You can get your own.

Again: HUGE thanks to the fans and to everyone for the incredible public support. My congratulations to the other artists inducted. And my apologies to the city and people of Cleveland, Ohio. I hope you’ll forgive me and we hope to see you again soon!

Keep Rockin’,

Axl

What do you think of Axl’s follow-up? Do you have similar questions about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?

Read more on EW.com:
Guns N’ Roses, Beastie Boys, Red Hot Chili Peppers inducted to Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Rock Hall responds to Axl Rose’s open letter about induction
The 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees: Deserving music legends or just a bunch of old white dudes?

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